McLane School Trail is a 4.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Olympia, WA that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
The McLane School Trail is paved all the way through. The easiest way to begin it is by starting at the trail's southern end, by McLane Elementary. Follow the paved path up and over the nearby bridge and into the woods. The trail is very easy and can be knocked out in an hour and a half or less. Beware that part of it runs right by and even crosses the road, so please keep kids and dogs in mind.
My daughter and I were excited to bike near the water but this route has no water views like shown in the photos. The path is nicely paved but is not a loop like described. If you start at the head of the trail, you must use an overpass on Evergreen Parkway to get to the other part of the trail. We think this trail would be more interesting when it's a bit more wet as most of the ponds and bogs were dry. McLane School has done a nice job of labeling areas and critters of interest.
Crud!! I meant to write this review for the McLane Creek trail, not this one. now I don't know how to delete the other review.
My family enjoys this trail very much. Dog friendly, easy walk, through a beautiful diverse forest. The salmon spawn in November. You will encounter beavers, deer, birds, turtles, newts, and wildlife a plenty. Bring duck food (NOT bread, crackers, chips, etc) and you will get some fantastic, up close and personal views of the birds. There is a mix of dirt paths and boardwalks. Nice covered picnic area at the trail entrance. Outhouse available. must have a discover pass or pay to park.
thought it was going to be a hike. paved walking or biking path. greenery and plant identifiers. lots of street and highway noise. not a forest hike if that's what you are looking for.
Great day sunny and warm. Lots birds
I liked this trail. It's a nice easy hike to do with the little ones. Dog loved it as well..
Very nice easy trail. Perfect for small kids.
Great well maintained park. Dog friendly and scenic beauty super chill
Mclane Creek is a wonderful place, if it weren't for the unruly people who let their dogs roam off leash. Every time I have visited, I witness dogs chasing wildlife, and three times I was startled by dogs racing around a bend and barking and lunging at me. I have had filthy dogs rub against me, making my clothes gross and dirty, and have gotten sprayed with swamp water that the dogs get soaked in as their owners let the chase ducks and baby geese into the water. The owners are callous and often either rude, or act like their dog is the grand exception to every rule.
It is really sad that this Habitat Reserve is open to dogs at all, but it wouldn't be so bad if folks obeyed the leash law in the park. But 100% of the time, we encounter these awful dog owners that believe the rules apply to all dogs but theirs.
Because of this, we rarely go any more. When the people and their off leash dogs are exceptionally active, there is no wildlife to see anyhow, because they are hiding from the dogs and their jerkish owners.
When you get a few dozen people who genuinely think their dog is too good to be on a leash, you wind up with dozens of unruly and irritating encounters. That is Mclane Creek.
Easy hike with slight to no grade. Beautiful views of creek, rain forest and beaver pond. Family friendly. Can be crowded on nice weekends. Bring your Discovery Pass. Parking can be a challenge, take the first spot you can. Wear water resistant foot wear or prepare for wet feet. Binoculars and a camera if you like birding. I don't know the rules regarding access to the pond, but it looks like a nice place for a kayak or canoe. You will see salmon in season.
It was a very sweet trail. I have never in my life seen so many salamanders! Overall a great little hike to see local wildlife - salamanders, ducks, frogs, birds. And well covered so you don't get soaked if its raining.
This is a beautiful trail full of wildlife and plantation. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for a short meditative walk. It is child/puppy friendly and has literature boards frequently spread throughout the trail giving knowledge of history and habitat. You will need a Washington State Discover Pass for parking.
I love this trail. My nephews and I have been walking it for many years. There is a short trail that is 0.6 miles and a longer trail that is 1.1 miles.